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ÄTA: GROWING RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS
Taina Whakaatere Pohatu
Äta Growing Respectful Relationships _____________________________________________________________________________
Te Waitara (Abstract)
Kai te reo na ake whakaaro e pup tia ai ng m tua t puna ki ng
take p M ori. He mea tuku iho t nei e ng
whakatupuranga o naianei. Ki te kaha te tangata ki te raparapa haere, ka take p nei, hai arataki paitia i a ia. Ko te kaupapa o te o te ` ta'. Kai konei ka kitea tahi tauira, hai
kitea tonutia te h honutanga o ng
tuhituhi nei, he arotahi i te take p whakamahitanga ki ng take p hai mahinga m
w hi maha, kai reira te hunga tangata. E whakapaetia kai konei ng te tangata i a ia e tupu ana.
The M ori principle (take p ) relationships.
ta is a behavioural and theoretical strategy employed by M ori in ta and its
This paper will discuss cultural definitions and interpretations of
potential as a transformative approach to advance ethical social service practice in Aotearoa today.
Hai T mata (Introduction)
Hai tauira mo ng reanga katoa (As an example to all generations).
M ori have a wealth of take p , created and applied for wellbeing and advancement. Take p provide M ori preferred ways of engaging with others and them with us. ta is the take p that
is explored here, in the pursuit of `legitimate counter hegemonies, which are intended to provide for more human existence for those who are marginalised, oppressed and exploited' (Smith, G.H. 1997:32).
In the context of social services, practitioners engage with people who have been marginalised and dis-empowered in a range of their relationships. Therefore, negotiating domains of negativity is an ongoing reality for practitioners and the significance of revalidating personal practice. Understanding how these domains function and interconnect, suggest cultural approaches of how they may be safely navigated. ta, in dealing with tensions within relationships will be the prime
focus of this paper, although other take p will be included to deepen the dialogue. Te H ngaitanga (Approach)
Äta Growing Respectful Relationships _____________________________________________________________________________
The ta template here has been fashioned from M ori thinking, participating in the advancement Apirana Ngata in 1929,
of developing `parallel columns' for M ori, as proposed by T
(Sorrenson, M.P.K. 1986:201). The enduring challenge left by Ngata to M ori is a commitment to deliberately centre M ori thought and knowledge, in our practice. Not doing anything will be the marginalisation or even disappearance of such uniquely M ori-constructed column.
The potency of M ori language (te reo M ori) is considered, an opportunity to focus on M ori words, as holders of cultural bodies of knowledge. Exploring the transformative potential within ta is then tracked, these being the: 1. 2. 3. 4. constituents of ta, identification of ta phrases and the mauri possibilities within, interconnected relationships potential within ta has with other M ori words and some sets of phrases,
ta when engaging in relationships.
Three narratives from a specific k wai whakapapa (genealogical/geographical specific grouping), traversing three centuries are recounted. interpretations of p These narratives offer messages, patterns and
ta for possible application into a range kaupapa and relationships. Other take
are also incorporated into the narratives, offering their unique points of view to further reta. Verses from k wai whakapapa waiata moteatea (genealogical/geographical specific
sung poetry), these being holders of valued events and expressions, will then exemplify how the `felt' messages of earlier generations can be used in activities. Clustered together, these construct understandings of ta and the way it executes its socialisation strategies in pursuit of
respectfulness in relationships.
Te Reo M ori
As M ori apply cultural practices exhibited in whakapapa and kaupapa legacies, the significance of language for oral cultures is more clearly understood. Language fulfills multiple roles, it being
Äta Growing Respectful Relationships _____________________________________________________________________________
kaitiaki of knowledge and thinking, in which our actions can be immersed and intertwined. This template is a reminder of just how `lived' and embedded M ori theory in fact is in our daily activities. Language is the source of Maori wisdom that holds explanations of safety and It also initiates entry-points to deeper readings of M ori knowledge because
language, `has been created and moulded to express our feelings and sentiments and no other medium of speech can take its place.' (ibid, Te Rangihiroa in Sorrenson:182). `Feelings and
sentiments' it is argued here, are underpinned by cultural theory, reasoning and interpretation. They are vehicles that convey yet at the same time assess applications. This draws attention to the dynamic interrelationship between the language, thinking, and lived reality of M ori, signaling the significance of cultural reproduction as, `collecting and recording is livened up by the fact that the material is new or an old friend in a new place' (ibid, Te Rangih roa in Sorrenson:226). Here is the timely reminder that knowledge and its meanings are travelers in perpetuity. As they are invited into kaupapa and relationships (`a new place') so are they revalued as vital companions (`new or an old friend'), becoming once again, active participants. This is the 'potentiated power' within te reo, `cracking' cultural bodies of knowledge and images for use in kaupapa and relationships. Having the courage to reflect on the boundless possibilities within M ori thinking and the energies of earlier generations for application in our time is the neverending hope, entrusted by Ngata when he wrote in 1940, `mehemea e kaha ana te hinengaro M ori ki te mea, kia mau ki t na reo, na tikanga, ng mahi a na t puna, te whakah ki t na M oritanga, ka mau tonu.' (`If the M ori mind is steadfast in its intent to maintain its language, its values and ways, the undertakings of its ancestors, to elevate its cultural capital, they will be retained - unpublished letter). Tuakana Nepe reaffirms these attachments, reminding us that,
`M ori language as a living medium of communication is a vital strand in the transmission of Kaupapa M ori knowledge' (1991:55). These M ori leaders recognised the counter-hegemonic energy held within M ori language and how it could create liberating frameworks to enable M ori to engage with integrity in any issue. The ongoing process of consciously using te reo and its bodies of knowledge to inform our practice, is one of the templates that they have bequeathed to ensuing generations.
Te Take p -
ta (The ta Principle)
ta is considered a vital cultural tool created to shape and guide understandings of relationships and well-being. The endeavour to gain meaningful insights into the integrity of ta and its
applications has led to the constructing of its following constituents. ta Constituents 1. ta focuses on our relationships, negotiating boundaries, working to create and hold safe space with corresponding behaviours. 2 ta gently reminds people of how to behave when engaging in relationships with people, kaupapa and environments. 3 · · · · · · · 4 5 ta intensifies peoples' perceptions in the following areas. It accords quality space of time (w ) and place (w hi). It demands effort and energy of participants. It conveys the notion of respectfulness. It conveys the notion of reciprocity. It conveys the requirement of reflection, the prerequisite to critical analysis. It conveys the requirement of discipline. It ensures that the transformation process is an integral part of relationships. ta incorporates the notion of planning. ta incorporates the notion of strategising. (Figure 1)
These constituents should be considered individually in order to fully appreciate them. When brought together however, their true worth and value can then be felt and experienced. A
willingness to use this process requires a special discipline of critical reflection and when applied to any context, creates its own uniquely fashioned signposts. They help guide what and how we do things. These are reflected in the following phrases. Take p ta-haere He Whakam ramatanga Definitions Be intentional and approach reflectively. Be deliberate and move with respect and integrity. This signals the act of moving with an awareness of relationships, their environments and requirements. ta whakarongo To listen with reflective deliberation. This requires patience and tolerance. It
gives space to listen and communicate to the heart, mind and soul of the speaker,
kaupapa and environment. It requires the conscious participation of all senses. It signals the elements of trust, integrity and respectfulness of what is being shared. ta-k rero To communicate and speak with clarity. This requires quality preparation and a deliberate gathering of what is to be communicated. The purpose is to ensure a quality of presentation (kia m rama ki te kaupapa), to speak with conviction (kia p mau ki te kaupapa), to be focussed (kia h ngai ki te kaupapa). ta-tuhi To communicate and write with deliberation. The need to be constantly reflective; to know for what reason, writing is being undertaken. consistently monitoring and measuring quality is implicit. ta-mahi To work diligently and with the conviction that what is being done is correct and appropriate to the issue and relationships involved. That the validity of the task is understood and accepted. ta-noho Giving quality time to be with people and their issues. To give this time with an open and respectful mind, heart and soul. required in relationships. ta-whakaaro To think with deliberation, considering possibilities. It allows space for creativity, openness and reflection. The consequence is that action is undertaken to the best of one's ability. ta-whakaako To deliberately instill knowledge and understanding. There are clear reasons why knowledge is shared; it is given in the required manner to appropriate participants, at the appropriate time and place. ta-tohutohu To deliberately instruct, monitor and correct. Grounded knowledge is a constant and valued companion. Cultural markers such as kaitiakitanga come forward to guide when appropriate, how it should be formed, applied and why. ta-k naki To be deliberate and clear in the choice of appropriate supports to enhance positions taken. ta-hoki m rire To return with respectful reverence, with full consideration of possible consequences. ta-titiro To look and study kaupapa and their many relationships, with reflective deliberation. ta-whakam rama To explain with reflective deliberation. However, in order to enlighten, it is vital This signals the level of integrity The significance of
that the channels of communication at the spiritual, emotional and intellectual levels of the receiver and deliverer are mutually respected, understood and valued, within any relationship. (Figure 2) Again each ta phrase is considered as a unique body of knowledge, offering options of how to
enter, engage and exit relationships. These phrases need to be further explored, to locate deeper appreciations of their transformative potential. Applying such patterns is a developmental
approach in tracking how to recognise and acknowledge the integrity of `other's' exclusive space, through being able to `read' deeply, our own exclusive spaces. Discovering and understanding the textures within relationships then becomes a possibility. The ongoing challenge is to develop understandings of the connections that exist between how they undertake their obligations within the ta phrases, their bodies of knowledge and
ta constituents to and for one another. These
constituents can act as filters, through which any relationship and activity can be decoded, when these phrases are knowingly placed within them. Interacting with other take p with their unique filtering processes create further opportunities for the wholistic and multi-dimensional nature of ta to be experienced, the chance to experience its `renewing' possibilities. As it is consciously applied in personal daily activities, the degree to which ta participates in what we do, may then
be continuously reviewed. Acknowledging these phrases from the ` ta system' into our personal patterns of practice can then generate preferences when engaging in relationships. To reinforce ta
in relationships and to emphasize the discipline required, Te Ao M ori has other sets of words, with their cultural intent and function. ta always connects with the following cultural notions,
with their entrenched behavioural strategies and disciplines.
Phrases Kia t tika
Translation To be correct To
Intent aspire towards standards of
quality Kia tika tonu Kia pai Kia rangatira te mahi To act responsibly To be careful To act with utmost To respect the integrity of others To be considerate & deliberate To consider the unique positions of others To ensure integrity within all
integrity Kia t pato To carefully consider the
consequences (Figure 3) The visionary, emotional, spiritual and intellectual features, inherent in the wholistic nature of M ori are further encapsulated in such phrases. These provide more positions of reflection that help guarantee standards, quality, space and boundaries as defined by Te Ao M ori. strengthens the importance of `pausing' implicit in It actions
ta, when engaging with others. Figure 4
then underscores the significance of t honohonotanga when giving weight to the true worth of the ta process.
A complimentary cluster of phrases contextualised to
ta, further emphasizes the wholistic nature
of Te Ao M ori. These are te whakatinana (to enact), te whakatauira (to model), te mahitahi (to function together), te whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro, (to exchange viewpoints openly acknowledging the integrity of the other). It highlights the socialising and humanising intent expected by Te Ao M ori when we engage in relationships and kaupapa. Here is affirmation of the pursuit of security and respectfulness, implicit in ta.
Te Whakawhitiwhiti Whakaaro To exchange viewpoints openly, acknowledging the integrity of the other
Äta-haere To be deliberate, intentional & to move with respect Te Whakatauira To model Te Mahitahi To function together
Te Whakatinana To enact (Figure 4)
Contextualised to kaupapa, these sets of words deepen the ways in which behaviour and performance.
ta can manage
They ensure that appropriate levels of `respectfulness' required,
especially important when relating effectively with those who have been dominated, damaged and controlled in some way.
tahi K rero Tauira (Narrative Examples)
Narratives are treated here as sites where voices are articulated, heard, reflected upon and responded to. Being prized ensures that these are considered holders of powerful messages, informers of Developing understandings of the messages within narratives open unique
possibilities for their continuing reapplication. Incorporating such thinking into everyday practice heightens our personal appreciation of M oritanga (M ori cultural capital). Such a process draws M ori closer to values and principles, crafted by earlier generations. While these are especially effective at the `local' level, they can also be effective at all other levels. This is because they incorporate templates and patterns that can be reshaped to inform our practice in any context, the idea implicit in Freire's notion of `read the word, read the world' (Freire, 1987). The following narratives are exercised to track ta, to assess how it guides and informs practice.
` ta Hoki M rire Ki
ku M tua' (Te Paea in Ngata, 1985:210-211). (figure 9)
`During the Hauhau conflict within Ngati Porou in the 1830's, Te Paea (of Ngati Porou) accompanied her partner, Te Ngoungou when he returned to Taranaki. She was later abandoned and so composed her waiata tangi (lament of loss)'.
The pain of being alone, in a place far away from affirming supports is a timeless reality in the social services context. Isolation of te tuakiritanga, (the inner being see Pohatu, Mauri, 2003) can be emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and politically paralyzing, resulting in immobilisation at one or more of these layers. To break out of these states of 'imprisonment', Te Paea reached into a personal reservoir of inner cultural strength and created this waiata, `Muriahiahi'. `Muriahiahi' hold some cultural options for dealing with issues of pain, anguish and despair. These issues are underpinned by the take p `koingo' and `mokemoke'. The cultural interpretations of these take p help increase awareness of the shades of meanings of `human The take p koingo therefore feelings' when considering what the `pain of being alone' is.
signify, yearning and longing of the whakapapa heart and soul, in this instance, for its home-place and people, embedded in the terms, `tai whenua' and ` ku m tua' (figure 9). These terms signal the importance of known valued environments and cultural legacies, as fashioners of future socialisation patterns. Mokemoke, the companion of koingo, is the felt expression of loneliness that accompanies the yearning and longing for `tai whenua' and its special groupings of people. These raise questions such as, `what elements are required to restore personal, emotional, psychological and spiritual integrity?' and `where do I go to for such elements?' In this way, space is claimed to reflect on how and why to respond. ta, this paper suggests, can be used as a `selection tool' to inform us as we trawl through cultural options before making our choices. Te Paea proposes options of coping with `k ingo' and `mokemoke', when facing crisis in unfamiliar and even `hostile' environments. immobilising experiences is one. The significance of valuing memories and recognising their potential to move people pro-actively forward through and past numbing and Being able to identify appropriate sources and critical Here it mobilising supports as represented in the phrase, 'he manu koia au', is another.
symbolises the transformative representation of flight with the concept and act of moving forward. ta with its reflective practice, this paper suggests, encouraged Te Paea to construct her responses to emotional, psychological and spiritual dilemmas and thus her looking to the future, to, `te pae tuang huru', as another option. Being consciously aware of the state of her position and then being willing to always look for the liberating possibilities inherent in pursuing distant horizons and their challenges, of both the future and the past, offered Te Paea proactive and regenerative choices. All it needed was courage that only she could provide.
Consequently, her legacy to social service practitioners is in the revalidating of identity, its cultural connections and proactive possibilities, when working with marginalised and disempowered people. In the revalidating of identity sits the ta constituents of figures 1 & 2. The
inviting in of components such as reflection, planning, strategizing and discipline brings with it the bodies of knowledge and tools of ta. One component of this legacy is constructed around the
sheltering images implicit in whakapapa groupings, `ki ku m tua, e moea iho nei' (the security of templates sculptured by earlier generations). Another part is the significance of whakapapa lands, when addressing emotional and spiritual pain, `noho ana taku iti te tihi ki Hikurangi'. For those who claim genealogical connections to Hikurangi, reflecting on its physical presence signals strength, stability and generates restorative possibilities. Through their unique bodies of exclusive, yet connected legacies of memories, events, names, songs and so energies for wellbeing, the t honohonotanga promise within every whakapapa grouping to a specific piece of land can be pursued by each generation. It accords space for deeper reflection, seeking a more precise and so decolonising definition of whakapapa. This is achieved through the incorporation of terms like t rangawaewae and urup with their affirmed cultural purpose and intent as sculptured by Te
Ao M ori. Interpreting t rangawaewae as whakapapa-centric places that give M ori inalienable rights of place to represent ourselves before others is one part of the equation. T rangawaewae also provides frameworks of behaviour and interaction with others when on `their place'. This affirms that ta is the essential tool in the constructing of appropriate patterns of engagement. Urup
(burial place) is also returned to its whakapapa-specific function. The practice of returning to the `beginning places' of our whakapapa groupings revalidates dimensions of `belonging to', crucial to the collective well-being. When consciously applied, ta processes play their part in the
successful transmission of cultural practice.
This reconfigured significance of land and the
reworked template of ta, run hand in hand, in sustaining M ori cultural obligation.
The waiata represents Te Paea' thinking, informed and shaped by her cultural, emotional and spiritual states. Her k wai whakapapa still sing this song of longing and in doing so,
reconstitutes sites for on-going re-internalisation of her messages.
Moteatea, Part II, Song 165:210-211. While we were still in my home territory why didn't you leave me then, respectfully releasing me rather then let our relationship linger. Allow this enslaved one to return to the security of my elders, of whom I constantly dream. Who would accept and traverse the many challenges that I face. If I had the capability of flight I would then go In my humbleness to be Beneath the majesty of Hikurangi.
I whea koia koe i taku tai whenua Ka ta papare ake i ahau e te tau Tuku m rie koe ka roa te hurihanga, Te mokai puku nei ta hoki m rie ki ku m tua, e moea iho nei. Ma wai e whai atu te pae tuang huru? He manu koia u, e ai te rere atu, Noho ana taku iti te tihi ki Hikurangi
These translations emphasize the transformative possibilities within waiata moteatea for guidance in any issue. Being able to trace the original messages and suggest how they may be reinterpreted into ongoing issues is offered. (Figure 9)
M Wai Ra E Taurima (figure 11)
Where taukumekume (negative tension, in this context) is a core element in issues, the notion of `raru' assumes a domineering position. Raru is perceived here as a concern that creates negative tensions, upsetting the balance within sets of relationships. Over one hundred and fifty years after `Muriahiahi', in 1983, the negative consequences of disconnection and dislocation impacted upon our extended wh nau. Some wh nau members, who had been separated from the k wai
whakapapa pulse, came to our notice through the Department of Social Welfare. Their family unit
was dysfunctional; three generations of that part of the wh nau for more than fifty years being shaped, defined and sustained by the State system; collecting `benefit/s', living in a State flat, `public servants' being an essential part of their daily circle. Social Welfare had approached the other two ethnic groups, to whom the mokopuna belonged. When those groupings didn't
respond, we were approached as the last resort. A small part of our narrative is shared. `In our first wh nau hui here in Auckland, the question was posed, what will guide our practice as we interact with the sets of groupings involved in this kaupapa? response was, `waiho m the wh nau at all times). Other sets of questions were asked, namely: 1. 2. 3. 4. `ka p hea ng tamariki?' what about the children? kainga' bring them home. The
te w kainga e whakarite' (let `home' set the boundaries for
`mauria mai ki te w
`ka p hea te tipuna me te k ka?' what about the grandmother and the mother? `m k tau e tiaki' you (in Auckland), look after them'.
These simple questions and responses established the manner in which we approached every situation, fundamental approaches that we never shifted from. Such questions were in fact spaces where the ta logic, its processes, constituents and phrases were constantly activated, implicit in
our behaviour with one another. Negotiations with whomever, held to the same arrangement. In this way, we were able to maintain our sense of mana-whakahaere at all times. The ability to govern and manage relationships, with `others', was crucial to deliberately assessing the integrity of our whakapapa positions at all times. ta was a natural facilitator when negotiating these `tihe'
junctions, (Pohatu, Mauri, 2003), their complexities, and angles. M wai r e taurima (who and what will guide practice?) was the constant question at every `tihe' point. Questions were other tihe and ta points, consistently reintroduced with every response fashioned for every question ta process. The
posed. The energies required to fashion our responses always engaged the
moment it was applied was the activation of tihe. During the court hearing to decide where the children should be placed, the decision was made to match every manoeuvre of the Department. Our responses would be framed by what was crucial to our well-being as a wh nau.
Question/Action How were the
Wh nau Tipuna Wh nau
Question/Action How the children would be cared for by
children cared for, not cared for? Children's' lawyer What were the Wh nau representative representative the wh nau, where, how, with whom, why. Whakapapa commitment to kaitiakitanga obligations, `to take care of' our own, how and why. Social worker/s How and why they represented Department, policies the its and Wh nau representatives (Gisborne) Share with the social worker, wh nau plans and to his whakapapa the
wh nau position. (Auckland) Framing a non-M ori social worker's role in his supporting and validating of the wh nau position.
approaches to `take care of'?
Represent Department's position?
Wh nau representative
Represent wh nau position.
Represent Department's position?
Wh nau material
Represent wh nau position to counterbalance Department's position.
(Figure 10) Our kaitiakitanga responsibilities to these children activated ta. Therefore, during the court
sessions, the department representatives defined what the likely adoptive home might be like. To counter this, the wh nau representatives were able to consider exactly what we had to offer and then communicate accurately, the environment the wh nau would provide the children with. It would not be just one home, but a community of homes, that had been imbued by whakapapa legacies, identity and connections for many generations. When the department wanted a particular M ori social worker to speak for them in court, the wh nau had one of our own `talk' to him about what the wh nau proposed. With that, he made himself unavailable from the case, his report in fact reflecting support for the wh nau proposal. ta, te whakakoha rangatiratanga and
kaitiakitanga were central in these interactions, setting domains of responsibility and accountability upon different sections of our wh nau, for different lengths of time. Two years ago, we celebrated the 21 birthday of the youngest mokopuna.
Waiata Tuku iho Henare Te Owai, Te Aowera hapu, Ngati Porou. Ma wai ra e taurima Te marae i waho nei, Ma te tika, Ma te pono Me te aroha e. Who will assume responsibility For the challenges that face us Let it be truth Let it be honesty Let it be valued relationships
Further emphasis of the transformative possibilities within waiata moteatea to guide, as long as the ability to reinterpret their emancipatory essence into issues, in each new time remains. (Figure 11)
Tangi Ana Tama Ki Te Kai M na' (figure 12)
In this millennium, there is the ongoing challenge to forge for future generations of M ori, M ori preferred ways of being. Instilling in them, M ori take p and practices for their future use, is a responsibility left to earlier generations. Such undertakings are fundamental to the ongoing
reciprocal obligations between generations. Their applicability in our activities, to vigorously support collective and personal well-being is what is being discussed. Two take p , whakat and arahina have been `selected' to act as cultural filters and platforms that inform and manage relationships between generations. When we locate what is in these bodies of knowledge and relate them to relationships between generations we can then see the potential for M ori cultural capital to be galvanised.
The thinking within whakat consequently, is seen as the instilling of essential learning fashioned from `te tuakiritanga' of earlier generations, to `te tuakiritanga' of future generations. With the constructing of such channels of communication, learning can then be given and received respectfully, without fuss, at any time or place. When the learning received is applied by those future generations into their relationships, then is the take p arahina realised. Here is the ongoing guiding from te tuakiritanga of the t puna generations, to te tuakiritanga of their future generations.
Enoka Te Pakaru, A.T. Ngata, Ng Popo e tangi ana tama ki te kai m na! Waiho me tiki ake ki te Pou-a-hao-kai, Hei mai te pakake ki uta ra,
Moteatea, Part II, Song 145:152-161. Hush my child, your cry is heard, For your cultural sustenance! Wait while it is fetched from its source, that cultural sustenance carefully tended and brought here in its uniqueness, To nurture and advance your spiritual, psychological, cultural and intellectual wellbeing. (Figure 12)
Hei waiu mo tama;
The birth our first mokopuna (grandchild) gave the opportunity for his grandmother to be there to pohiri (formally welcome) him into his cultural world. The first voice, language and messages that surrounded him as he entered this world were that of his k wai whakapapa. The very first words he heard, 'popo e tangi ana tama ki te kai m na', was an oriori (felt, internalised, spiritualised, whakapapa-specific sung poetry) composed by one of his ancestors and still sung by his k wai whakapapa. It is kaipupuri of traditions, histories, practices and thinking that is part of his unique legacy and identity. He was being gently introduced from the very beginning, to a select grouping of unique people that he is descended from, reactivated whenever the song is used. This is whakat , arahina and ta in action. Taking the decision to have our mokopuna raised in
a three-generational, k wai whakapapa home, in Auckland, invited traditional patterns when functioning as a wh nau, away from `home'. Kaitiakitanga and te whakakoha rangatiratanga now consciously shaped our daily dealings with one another, and conducted our interactions with ourselves. ta being a central method that guided
Kaipupuri of cultural blueprints of mokopuna Activation of whakat and arahina
according to Te Ao M ori are the tipuna generation.
obligations require the conscious contemplation of past experiences and embedded thinking within the query, `how do we make such practice relevant for this time?' Crucial forward with suggested signposts like: · · · · `ka p hea a t na w ?' `ka p hea t na noho a t na w ?' `he aha te mahi ma t ua? `me p hea e tutuki ai?' `What will his time be like?' `How will he live in his time?' `What must we do?' `How will this be done?' ta questions come
These trigger kaitiakitanga elements and responsibilities embedded in another range of questions like: · · · `he aha ng `ko wai ng taonga kai te k rerohia?' `what is this cultural capital that is being discussed?' kaipupuri o nei taonga?' `who are the holders of this `cultural capital?' whakatipuranga a tona w ' `how and when can it be most
`me p hea te tuku atu ki ng
effectively transmitted to future generations?' If undertaken for clear kaitiakitanga reasons, these offer real learning and guiding markers for t puna generations. At the same time, the parent (m tua) generation are given the chance to learn anew with their children, the patterns, messages and legacies that are uniquely theirs. Instilling positive memories, relationships, and sources for the future of mokopuna is the energy that drives this approach, again the whakat and arahina notions in action. The imagery implicit in the opening phrase, 'p p e tangi ana tama ki te kai m na' introduces the concept of 'nourishment'. Its quality, when it is given, how and by whom, is understood and so cherished. `Being
cherished' seeks out daily sites of opportunity for whakat and arahina to be naturally recreated and revalidated in each new time, place and context. Puna (wellspring), another element of
M oritanga, contextualised to the t puna/mokopuna relationship adds other depths to the kaitiakitanga, te whakakoha rangatiratanga, t honohonotanga templates, to be trialled. This
carries the image of two springs in their culturally dialectic relationship. One is at the beginning of its time, (mokopuna), waiting to be filled with its unique heartbeat, soul, rhythm and focus. Popo e tangi ana tama ki te kai m na, epitomises the image of mokopuna seeking components for their unique identity, their moko, their whakapapa-specific imprints in this context. The other spring (t puna), have lived and accumulated through its life, key components to ensure that they can provide identity, whakapapa-specific imprints and well-being, to mokopuna. This at least is the cultural intent. It is however, dependent on factors that would let t puna maintain and sustain levels of focus and responsibility to this unwritten yet vital cultural undertaking. Therefore, the tipuna spring can be a wellspring, full of k wai whakapapa legacies, space for the constant feeding of whakapapa cultural capital. It can however, be a dry spring, an indicator that these elements have been placed in the margins of tipuna through their daily lives, over their lifetimes. These reflect dilemmas, etched out, especially through our relationships with non-M ori. Western
thinking and bodies of knowledge, created and daily re-enacted as givens today in Aotearoa'
There is no letter `s' in the Mäori language. It is therefore, deliberately left off Mäori words
laws, policies and programmes, set the frameworks of these relationships, as exampled in R. Walker, (1990) L.T. Smith, (1999), G.H. Smith, (1997), C. Smith (1994), H. Greenland in Spoonley, P., Pearson, D., Macpherson C. (1991) example the development of relationship.
Should the heartbeats of the tipuna and mokopuna reach the depth of 'beating as one' however, the possibilities are limitless, affirming commitment with and to one another. The generations,
given time to value the thinking and understandings gathered, indicate the importance of time (w ), as a natural companion (hoa-haere). Today our moko say, `p p mama'. It signals to t puna at one level, the successful internalisation of whakapapa cultural capital, activated with safety by mokopuna, in their time and way. Dynamism of te whakakoha rangatiratanga between generations is displayed at such moments. Here is a `tihe moment' of mutual affirmation of whakapapa mauri ora. Whakapapa-specific cultural capital of identity founded on take p and cultural reasoning is what is being followed. The ta factors of reflection, strategising, planning,
gently focusing and discipline, creating safe space for transformative action to happen, are also hoa-haere (valued companions). It confirms a process of locating ways to invite take p in a real way, into our daily lives.
Te Kapinga (Conclusion)
The 'three-lettered' word,
ta, reflects the many layered nature of M ori thinking, language and so
the complexities of Te Ao M ori. It signals complexity yet simplicity, as long as there is a clarity and purity of intent and commitment. ta re-images ways of progressing in relationships
today, through phrases M ori have developed and utilised consistently, over time. Samples of words and phrases have been interrogated to pinpoint potential within improve and explain behavioural and applied theoretical patterns. ta that would help
It flags the significance of
world-views through the lens of kaitiakitanga and te whakakoha rangatiratanga. In this way, safe cultural space for M ori socialisation, behavioural and theoretical processes may be re-founded. Choosing and applying take p selected from M oritanga, is the recurring opportunity to add further dimensions consistently when tracking interpretations within any kaupapa. The energies of other take p to authenticate one specific take p , ta in this instance, points to cultural
approaches engineered by M ori thinking, knowledge and application.
in the English texts, even though the apostrophe is still employed. 17
An associated challenge is to tell our own narratives, locate the messages in them and being 'game' enough to validate the messages where appropriate, daily. The narratives shared can offer options for critically re-interpreting our activities for re-use. Deliberately selecting stories that we are part of, seeking messages in them for use, can offer liberating moments, especially if there is a conscious will to do so.
For social service application, this affords space to practitioners to consider and test constructions of ta within their work. Developing patterns of conscious application and review, gives ta the
opportunity to be included as part of their practice ethic. Incorporating their own experiences through their narratives helps signpost the significance of involving ta in their practice. Consciously
ta and associated take p , creates the patterns of detecting pre-emptive alternatives,
after all, practitioners do want to, `alter the natives'. `Natives' in the social service context are those people, in various states of `p hara'. They are in `states of need' be they emotional,
spiritual, psychological, physical, intellectual, economic or political. Their mauri needs, have to be woken, to willingly participate, the notion of `oho' (Pohatu, Mauri, 2003). Collectively, M ori practitioners, when they deliberately acknowledge ta as an integral element of their
personal methods of application, become more strongly, appliers of Kaupapa M ori models of practice. In this way, M ori templates assume their rightful positions alongside non-M ori Crucially, it is vital to remind ourselves that these require courage from
models of practice.
practitioners to willingly explore and activate choices from M ori bodies of knowledge at deeper levels in the process of progressing of their practice. Shaping explanations of ethical
professionalism then declare `safe space' for cultural ways and explanations.
Boundaries are constant challenges for consideration of 'diversity' and 'uniqueness' that is the reality of Aotearoa society today. As a result, the acknowledgement of boundaries signifies
formality in relationships, layering further cultural justification for the processes, approaches and standards of ta. It requires the constant application of appropriately constructed questions to Space can then be petitioned in the seeking of cultural depth in
every part of any issue. interconnected ways.
As a consequence, M ori cultural templates with their accompanying ta,
rigour, positioned within M oritanga, become possible. Definitions of kaitiakitanga and
places te whakakoha rangatiratanga at their core. Unless there is the willingness to fully appreciate
the transformative and ethical possibilities within ta however, it will always remain in our ta in our daily reality, its
individual 'margins'. Until there is a conscious willingness to utilise
depths too will always remain, 'over there'. In addition, waiata moteatea have been explored as kaipupuri of potential elements for safe and ethical social service frameworks. They are also
kaipupuri of ancestral voices that propose ways in which they may be engaged into activities today.
Finally, the reality for M ori today, is that we are born to struggle, the never-ending contestation ultimately, being for our hearts, minds and souls. The contestants are M ori and non-M ori world-views. Fundamental to this engagement is the core kaitiaki responsibility bequeathed to each generation of M ori to continue the drive to maintain the integrity of our cultural uniqueness. However, Ngata also offers timely reminders when he wrote, 'te aronga me nga korero o tua atu i nga kupu' (A.T. Ngata, Nga Moteatea, Pt II, 1985:xliv). The conscientising essence of his words to future generations is to always be mindful of the complexities within M ori knowledge, language and thinking. To seek them out, value, understand then
contextualise them into our issues and relationships was crucial to re/establish culturally emancipatory depths. He reminds us that questions are fundamental to this conscientising process as each generation seeks to understand the challenges of their time, 'ka timata hoki te uiui a te hunga tamariki ki o ratou pakeke', (Ngata, ibid p. xliv). In tandem with this is the ongoing requirement of nurturing respectfulness in relationships. As future generations will in time begin to question their elders, so is the ta process required even more, to inform and shape their
frameworks of practice. This pattern is as current and as required now, as it was in his time and earlier. No reira, kia manawanui t tau (Therefore, let us be of stout heart).
Te R rangi Pukapuka - References
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